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When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life
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When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,157 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Are you plagued by fears, phobias, or panic attacks? Do you toss and turn at night with a knot in your stomach, worrying about your job, your family, work, your health, or relationships? Do you suffer from crippling shyness, obsessive doubts, or feelings of insecurity?
What you may not realize is that these fears are almost never based on reality. Anxiety is one of th
ebook, 464 pages
Published May 9th 2006 by Harmony (first published January 1st 2006)
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David While there is a portion of this book that corresponds to "Feeling Good", it is quite different. I would highly recommend "The Feeling Good Handbook",…moreWhile there is a portion of this book that corresponds to "Feeling Good", it is quite different. I would highly recommend "The Feeling Good Handbook", a companion to the original. Of the myriad of personal development books I have read, this is among the very best. I use several of his techniques and models in working with my coaching clients. The section on Communications is worth the price of the book itself.(less)
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Roy Lotz
Sep 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always been an anxious person. I think I get it from my mother.

One time, we were in the car on our way to the supermarket when, for whatever reason, she asked if I had my license on me. “No,” I said. “Why do I need it? You’re driving.” “But what if we get into an accident?” she replied. At first, this response confused me. Then I realized that she was wondering how people would identify my body if we both died in a crash. “I think they’d figure it out,” I said finally, as scenes of blood
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not much for self-help books, but a psychologist recommended it to me, and I finally moved past my biases and started it. The subtitle isn't kidding when it says it can change your life! The book is basically a bunch of cognitive therapy techniques that you can do by yourself or with a friend. I got so much out of it--and yet there's so much left to learn--that I'm planning to immediately start reading it again.

Oddly, while I think this book will do a lot to help a variety of problems I occ
Mr. Roboto
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bought this for someone close to me who suffers from panic attacks. Decided to read it first to make sure it was an appropriate gift, and found that it has useful information for anyone who wants to combat perfectionism (my problem) and any kind of self-defeating behaviors. Burns helps you get to the root of certain problems and combat them. You'll definitely feel more human and less alone in your worries/insecurities after reading this one. I decided to keep the copy I was planning to give as a ...more
Feb 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: brain, health
This is a good book for people with specific phobias (eg, heights, elevators, snakes), fear of dying (not existential fear, but like, physical death from panic symptoms), post-traumatic stress anxiety, that sort of thing. I myself suffer from fear of loss of control, and found this book insightful to a point, just not something that could fix what I'm going through. I didn't really think it was going to solve all my problems; I read it because it's written by the author of "Feeling Good," the fa ...more
sucks. i get stressed out just thinking of wasting my money (even if it was half price)
he offers a lot of quick stories in which the afflicted seek his help and he cures then in 1-2 sessions. he must be a miracle worker. he is selling a load of crap. i need a couple sessions just to get over my anxiety about his quick fixin's
Apr 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I used his cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques, outlined in this book, to combat the negative spirals I found myself caught in when my depression began to clear, but left me with frequent spells of mild (paralyzing, but not hospital worthy) panic attacks. They were a very useful tool in my arsenal and I saw dramatic changes in just a few weeks.

As someone very interested in psychology, and possibly considering counseling as a career, I found the book very useful in that, like a te
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is a LIFE SAVIOR!! Im writing this review as a psychiatrist and as a person who has suffered from panic disorder. It has powerful tools that help you overcome all kind of anxiety starting from panic attacks to social anxiety, it touches you deeply and make you face the monster that been hiding inside of you and been eating your life away! I have used it with my patients and helped them ALOT!! Dr david burns is like the guru of CBT. I recommend this book to my patients and to anyone has ...more
Jinger Moore
Some of the worksheets were really helpful. I did not like the author's take on medication. It was too black and white and dismissive of using it in conjunction with therapy and the methods that were outlined in the book - which most were great tools! I also did not like how many of the case examples provided sounded like too good to be true testimonials you'd see on a late night infomercial, like, "so and so did this and they were cured of their anxiety!"
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually got this book for free to read for our university/ workplace mental health book club. While having the shared issues of other self-help books, this has actually been a very helpful book for both my professional and personal life.

My biggest issues are that Burns might be overstating his promises and that he’s a bit more anti-medication than preferable. While I’m a firm believer in CBT and think medication tends to be prescribed to people who might have another main cause, there’s a da
Passenger B.
I agree with the author that psychiatrists and therapists tend to pathologize and dramatize certain moods, temporary (normal, human) conditions and that the way psychiatrists vote on what constitutes a "mental illness" (or not) for the DSM (back when the book was written: IV) would be hilarious if it weren't so dangerous.

But all in all there were just too many "off" things about this book and the way the author kept praising himself, the way he had successfully and almost magically healed peopl
May 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Anyone with anxiety or who has ever suffered a panic attack can appreciate some of what this book has to offer. Whether your condition is mild or very bad, its still something that can be crippling at times and is very misunderstood. Many people do not seek help for this. There is help for this condition and people do not need to ashamed of it! Most people (especially women) will have a panic attack at some point in their lives (and they are lucky if it does not become a reaccuring problem (sorr ...more
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I started reading this book in February and working through it since. I've had anxiety since I was a kid, but never had panic attacks until January of this year. It was very scary and I knew I had to do something- learn some coping strategies in case it happens again. This book has helped me tremendously and I would highly recommend it to anyone with anxiety, phobias, panic disorders, etc.- especially if you don't want to or can't go the medication route. The only trick to it is that it does req ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who's truly depressed and anxious will have a hard time with books like these. And I feel it would've been better to have more exercises to do, rather than read, read, read. I don't know, maybe I'm more messed up than the average person. Maybe would be more helpful with a therapist guiding me as I read through it. Gave up after Chapter 7.
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Panic Attack Sufferers
Recommended to Debra by: Amazon
I like others suffer from a more generalized anxiety disorder that cannot be alleviated by self-controlled CBT. This book however did provide some good insights and helped me to understand some issues better.
Apr 09, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
I was on page 80 and the author was still trying to persuade me to read and follow his methods. Written in text book form and was just too busy for me. Also, I don't think I have panic attacks... I am hormonal and anxious :(. Hopefully after I give birth and get back to normal, I will be better!
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hoping this works

I read this book to see if I thought it would help my son. He is paralyzed by anxiety at times. After reading it, I purchased a copy for him to work with (I borrowed mine from the library.). I hope this helps him. I even found some things to help anyone. You don’t need a severe case of anxiety to learn something from this book!
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Burns is the real deal. His "Feeling Good" books deal with reality, rather than hype and frequently cock-eyes theories about human behavior. As a career and life coach, I have cited often his various techniques for communicating effectively, modifying self -defeating behavior, believing in yourself, etc. This book, "When Panic Attacks", adds to his impressive body of work. Burns outlines very distinctly the causes of various stress and anxiety conditions that can be applied to moderate sym ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for the first time in college as part of a psych seminar on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). I loved it then, and I love it now. The patient narratives are presented almost as detective stories (what cognitive distortions or underlying emotions were at the root of an anxiety reaction, and what techniques might fix them?), the psychology is evidence-based but accessibly written, and the overarching idea of a patient using the book for self-treatment is intriguing. (The book in ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the end of my rope

My therapist recommended this book to me during my first session, I've spent years and years with various therapists and various medications with little to no success. This isn't even my first "self help" book. However I finally broke down and gave this one a try because it felt like my only option. "When panic attacks" is surprisingly helpful as long as you're willing to put in the work. It reads more legitimately than most other books in this genre and actually remind
Tonya Rogers
This book has a lot of interesting and useful information and techniques for people with anxiety. If you’ve never tried CBT, this is probably a good intro as it’s easy to understand and includes a lot of writing assignments. It just wasn’t particularly helpful for me. I’ve gone through years of CBT-based counseling, and can generally identify what’s true/not true, what’s rational/not rational, etc. But identifying those things doesn’t change the anxiety I FEEL. Also, I often just FEEL anxious —t ...more
Richard Schwindt
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites
David Burns, I gather, is an engaging speaker and I am sorry I have never had the opportunity to hear him. However, he is inside my head on a daily basis when I am providing therapy for mood disorders. This book in particular is helpful whether you prefer to lean towards the cognitive or behavioral side of CBT. He brings some humour to the table, and I particularly found his information on the different approaches to exposure therapy helpful. Treating mood disorders always involves work; there a ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is excellent! I am a naturally anxious person and this book has helped me significant ly reduce my day to day anxiety. Not only that, but I have tools now that I feel 100% confident in using to prevent and manage relapses as they may come.

Also, as someone who works in Psychiatry, this is an excellent book for any clinician looking for more self help book referalls, or to strengthen their psychotherapy skills.

Highly recommend!
Betty Hallenbeck
Extremely well written book, full of practical techniques to help all those struggling with any type of anxiety. Whether you - or somebody you know - have full-blown panic attacks, generalized anxiety, or simply tend towards worrying, Dr. Burns will provide you with new tools to tame your tensions. Easily implemented by anybody who is motivated to worry less.
John Zenoni
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While there are some chapters and things about this book that did not necessarily apply to me, this does not mean that they did not apply to others and won’t help those who read them. Some of the things in this book are spot on for me and the recommendations and suggestions were/are very helpful. I highly recommend this read for anyone who needs insights into how to help overcome anxiety.
Feb 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, how-to
When I read this book I was able to get my panic attacks under control. Here is what works for me: cognitive therapy (this book teaches how this works, basically it means changing how you think), quitting coffee, running/aerobic exercise, yoga and, when needed, xanax or valarian.
Kat Daley
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really helped me with my anxiety and fears of a lot of things. reading this book gave me such a good feeling about how to deal with panic attics and plane rides. I recommend this book to anyone who has anxiety or fears.
Oct 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deep breathing can work in the short time but narcotics and benzos are popular for a reason! HELLO PEOPLE!!
Onika Jeba
One take away from this book from those who deals with anxiety but not panic attacks is that pick the techniques that you think will work best for you.

I tried this but still felt overwhelmed, I just couldn’t pick because I was constantly anxious and still am. If you work on distortion you feel your being inactive, so you want to work on being more active but then you realize you need to work on being more gentle/self endorsing, but then you feel bad that you are short w others so you
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I am a big fan of Dr. Burns and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (after all, it does stems from Stoicism!). I've never struggled with anxiety myself, but several of my loved ones have, so I decided to see what his take is on how best to cope with this condition. Like the rest of his books, this one is so practical, although it does involve quite a bit of detective work and homework on your part. The entire CBT process is explained so well, this book could easily save you a lot on expensi ...more
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David D. Burns is an adjunct professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the author of the best-selling book Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Burns popularized cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) when his book became a best seller during the 1980s.

Burns received his B.A. from Amherst College in 1964 and
“When you confront the monster you” 1 likes
“Some encouraging studies suggest that the answer may be yes. Dr. Isaac Marks, from the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, has shown that many individuals can overcome anxiety disorders using CBT techniques without face-to-face psychotherapy or medications. I’m hopeful that this book will prove just as effective for people with anxiety as Feeling Good has been for people struggling with depression. However, no” 0 likes
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